I, by rights, am not really a bright and cheery soul. In fact, if you wanted to be pedantic about it, I am in fact a pathologically cynical anti-social bastard who views the world through a permanent sneer and would quite happily baseball bat every idiot I meet round the head until their legs start twitching. I am also quite cuddly though, so I’m not all that bad.
So because of my natural disposition, I normally hate this time of year.
Now don’t get me wrong, when I go on holiday I am like a sun god. I bask in the rays like a sunbathing turtle, trying desperately to turn brown because chicks dig brown dudes. And I am, of course, naturally all about the chicks, man.
But summer in the UK is a horrible, horrible thing. It truly is.
We just don’t know how to deal with it.
Us Brits are a pasty bunch on a whole. For most of the year, the only exposure we get to any harsh light is when we stand stupidly in front of our open refrigerators trying desperately to decide what to have for dinner, bathed in the heavenly glow from the light at the back of the fridge that is just hidden behind the cheese and that suspicious looking yoghurt that has been in there for what seems like forever and has now become a sentient life form. That’s sunbathing to us.
As most of the time the UK is plunged into almost perpetual gloom, the moment the sun decides to peek its bastard glowy yellow face from behind a cloud, we all go metal. Literally mental.
Clothing is shed faster than you can say “Oh my God, put them away!” as any form of social constraint is thrown out of the window. Fat men seem to be in the understanding that it is perfectly alright to waddle around in the tightest shorts imaginable and nothing else. So on any street, you are suddenly confronted with the sight of a huge red wobbly torso looming towards you with pendulous breasts like shopping bags filled with sausage meat swaying hypnotically in every opposite direction. Women seem to view themselves in an almost alternative reality and wear clothing that is ten times too small for them on bodies that really shouldn’t be wearing clothes that are ten times too small for them, so they end up looking like swelled up books that have been left out in the rain.
I’m not a prude. I like looking at half naked folk (the Judge at Snaresbrook court said I was particularly good at it), I just wish there could be some kind of social reality filter where you could tell people: This is what you look like, now wear clothing that is appropriate. By all means wear clothing that shows a bit of skin, flash the flesh, and so forth, just please don’t wear stuff that makes me want to blind myself with two Cornetto cones when you shuffle past so I don’t have to look at you again.
And one other thing, don’t wear fucking Flip-flops.
Feet are evil. Two slabs of calloused, dry skinned meat. And most women (and far too many men) seem to want to get these out for the public. Feet should be encased in concrete, never to be seen from the moment you are born. But not in the summer. No. It’s a flip-flop party in summer.
Two things wrong with this.
1) The noise. Swish. Flap. Swish. Flap.
2) No one wants to view your big wedge of cheesy foot heel flaking bits of dead skin everywhere.
So don’t do it, please.
The moment the papers start reporting: PHEW! WOT A SCORCHER! All over the UK people start running outside, smearing themselves with chip fat and screaming “Burn me!” It’s amazing that with all that sunlight hitting pale, pasty flesh, there isn’t some kind of massive solar flare reaction that incinerates the surface of the world until everything is burnt to a crisp.
But after three days of extreme sunbathing, the Uk’s populations starts to change. Supermarkets are filled with shell shocked red people with skin that looks as if it has been sandblasted, all of them looking for the aftersun lotion to put on their boiling flesh.
That bronzed brown god/goddess look you were going for, well, the maroon based skin with peeling bits isn’t really a good compromise, is it?
If you stop and wait outside any suburban street, just under an open bedroom window (which once again, the Judge said I had an almost unnatural talent for) all you will hear being cried out is “Don’t touch me Jason, I’m on fire!”
How is this fun?
Another way in which the UK is crap at summer is with the heat.
I hate the heat.
Every time I have been abroad, every single country handles their heat perfectly with air conditioning, fans, open areas, all just plain simple common sense really.
Our heat is different to other countries heat as it has nowhere to go. So it just clings to you like a wet shower curtain. And we’re just not prepared for it. It’s like we forget what normally happens during summer, and the moment the mercury starts rising, we just look around with a dumb expression on our faceholes. “What do you mean it gets hot?”
Nights are spent lying awake in a puddle of your own sweat, while a pathetic floor fan blows air on you with all the power of a flatulent hamster. Offices are filled with workers that have been fused to their computers as the management once again forgot to get the air con fixed. But that’s not the worst thing, not by any shot.
Public. Fucking. Transport.
Tell me this, how hard is it to get some form of air conditioning on a train? Well, very bloody hard apparently.
As I only deal in cold hard facts, here’s one for you.
It is a legal requirement that if you are transporting livestock, the temperature in the mode of transport MUST not exceed 85 degrees. Last summer, the temperature recorded on the central line was 96 degrees.
Countries gone to the dogs, blah, blah, etc, etc.
I used to regularly travel on the central line but gladly stopped when I moved home. I took the delight of a journey on it the other day. The tube was packed, and I mean, packed. The sweat was literally dripping from the ceiling. I was wearing a pair of cotton trousers that shrunk in the heat to cotton hotpants. I thought at one point we had taken a detour from Bank to Liverpool Street via the seventh level of Hell. I half expected that the very Devil himself was driving the train in a London Underground uniform. When we finally reached our destination, and the doors opened, none of us could move as we had all melted on the floor into fleshy pizza shapes topped off by two madly staring eyeballs, and all of us wondering if this would affect our travelcards as none of us looked anything like what we did in our photos anymore.
So you can basically stick your summer right up your poop chute.
Give me dark days, snow, biting cold, and many, many layers of clothing.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.